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or, A Return To Being One Of The Horde Of Headless Overweight People On Bad TV News Reports About The Obesity Epidemic
I’ve been fat for most of my life. When I was in my early twenties, I decided to see what it was like to be thin — sort of an inverse of what Captain Beefheart did — and lost a lot of weight. It stayed off for a few years, but gradually came back on, and I’m not at my peak of heaviness or anything, I’m pretty much back to normal.
And, y’know what? I’m fine with that.
There were nice things about being thin, don’t get me wrong. It’s easier to move around and fit into things — I’m also 6’6”, which makes fitting a problem besides. It was also easier to walk up steep hills or longer distances. Clothes fit a bit better (most of my weight is in my belly, which tends to be a bit awkward when buying jackets or shirts — they’ll fit the top half of my torso but not the bottom). And, honestly, I got a bit more confidence in myself.
But, honestly, I’m a bit happier now that I’m fat again. One of the things they don’t tell you when you lose a lot of weight: The skin doesn’t go anywhere. There’s nothing to fill it, so it just sags around like a deflated balloon. It was pretty gross when I’d lean over, or get on my hands and knees — I’d have a big sagging ball hanging from my midsection. Shades of “Benny the Bouncing Bump”. The only way I know of losing that skin is to actually have it removed surgically, which is a pretty costly (though from what I’ve heard, relatively safe) procedure. So, even if I’m fat now, at least my skin looks like it fits my body.
But that’s not even the main reason I’m fine being fat. This is the big one: I’ve got my dreams back.
During my thin years, I was CONSTANTLY dreaming about food — either “Oh, I can have this and it won’t matter” or “Oh, no, I’m going to gain all the weight back”. I rarely had normal dreams. And, well, I LIKE dreaming. Buñuel said he’d have been happy being awake only a half-hour a day if he could dream the other 23 and a half. I’m not quite there, but I can definitely relate. Dreams are where anything can happen. I’ve had lots of great ideas from dreams that I’ve jotted down and done things with. Dreams are pretty keen.
That said, dreams about food? Boring. No one really cares, there’s nothing you can do with ‘em, nothin’. It’s just free-floating weight-based anxiety. Wake up and feel cruddy because you’re worried about eating too much, and it’s pretty clear it’s not going away. I was thin for, hm, probably about 4, 5 years, give or take — didn’t stop.
And here’s the interesting thing: You’d expect the fat me to have guilty dreams about having gained the weight back and all that, and that I’ll end up weighing 800 pounds and washing myself with a rag on a stick and getting stuck to the couch and all those other stereotypical fat horror things, right?
Nope. My dreams are back to being cool things, normal things. Stuff about random anime that doesn’t exist. Finding a new Chris Morris TV program. Mental movies. Nothing at all about weight or, well, even food at all in just about any context. I’m meant to be a fat guy, and that’s fine.
The other cool thing? The confidence I mentioned?
It’s stuck around too.